How to Throw a Successful Fundraiser at a Bar

Who doesn’t like a bar party!? You don’t have to clean your own place, there’s space for everyone, and there’s no post-party disaster to worry about handling. Furthermore, who doesn’t prefer a real glass to some non-eco-friendly, red-cup business. Now we’re talking! Hosting a fundraiser is both fun and effective.

hosting a fundraiser at a bar
You can turn all this into a cash cow for your fundraiser!

More importantly, there’s something for everyone at a bar fundraiser — there are always non-alcoholic options for those who opt out of drinking. And for the majority that do drink, you will certainly be able to find a way to wet their whistle. Not to mention, people love bar games, like darts and pool.

Gathering your people and their people and their people at a bar is a quick and rather painless way to raise some funds. And remember — this isn’t just about drinking, it’s about how to throw a (successful) fundraiser at a bar. Bars are made to host parties, so it’s an easy solution for people to feel able to come and go at their leisure during your event (people like low-pressure situations!).

A bit skeptical or not sure how to throw a fundraiser at a bar? Let us help.

Why host a fundraiser at A bar?

Throwing a fundraiser at a bar has many perks. One of the big ones is that it requires minimal effort on the attendees’ behalf. Think about it — people don’t need to get dressed up, nor do they need to prepare anything in advance.

Hosting a fundraiser at a bar is a mutually beneficial affair. There are a few steps that you should consider in preparation for the main event. From planning, to inviting the gang, to hosting the party itself, here are a few tips on how to successfully host a fundraiser at a bar. (P.S. You’ll probably also want to be at least 21-years-old if you want this idea to actually work.)

How to throw a fundraiser at a bar

1. Have a cause

Know your cause and make it a legitimate one. First and foremost, if you’re considering hosting a fundraiser at a bar, you should have a decent cause that people will want to donate to. Why do you need or want to host the event in the first place? This shouldn’t require too much soul searching if you’ve found this page. You most likely already have the vision, and now you’re simply looking to realize it. 

hosting a fundraiser at a bar
Even though a fundraiser at a bar is a bit more chilled out, it’s still important to communicate your cause.

Maybe you’re going to volunteer abroad next summer and that trans-Pacific flight is a bit steep. Or you’re looking to make a donation to help a local non-profit. Your all-inclusive resort trip to Punta Cana doesn’t cut it! People love to support a good cause, especially if they personally know the benefactor. What’s your story?

2. Choose your date

Seemingly obvious, right? Not for everyone! Think strategically about when you could gather the most folks together. The more the merrier. The best date for your fundraiser probably won’t be on a Monday night after a long holiday weekend. Shooting for a date later in the week will usually increase your chances of having a good turnout while (hopefully) maximizing your revenue.

Whether it be Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, or simply a Saturday, choose your date wisely. It’s also not a bad idea to have a date set a bit in advance. A month ahead of the event should be plenty of time to give people the appropriate amount of time to make arrangements to come to your event. Don’t wait until the last minute on this one. Make some moves now.

3. Decide on the venue

This should happen in tandem with fixing a date for your event. It might even be the deciding factor depending on the space’s availability. Scout out your ideal location and have a chat with the bar manager. Heck, there might even be an event planner. Even better! Whoever you connect with, let them know your idea and see what they can bring to the table.

Some watering holes might more-or-less have a protocol; they could be experts on how to host a fundraiser at a bar. Others might be willing to give your idea a go for the first time. Suss the situation out and be open to collaborating or modifying your idea. It’s always better to work together.

4. Negotiate

While discussing major deets with the bar directly, be sure to understand what they are offering you. This is a fundraiser after all! How does it work? Well, bars usually donate a percentage of proceeds earned during the event to your cause. They take their cut, and then they give you a piece of the pie too.

Confirm what this is. If they tell you that it’s 10%, well, take a chance and see if they are willing to increase it to 15%. And back to that good cause idea — if management knows that your event is for a good cause, odds are they will be willing to help you out, too.

5. Advertise

hosting a fundraiser at a bar
Make sure to talk up your bar fundraiser! People will want to get in on this.

Market and advertise your event. Once the “where” and “when” have been decided, now you can focus on the “how.” Marketing and promoting your event are just as important as the actual event itself. If no one knows about it, they won’t be able to help you raise those funds. No-brainer, right?

Consider creating an event on Facebook and posting an invitation on Instagram. Maybe you could Tweet about it? Whatever platforms you use, put together a legitimate invitation while doing your best to create some buzz around your event. Don’t forget those that aren’t on social media, either. Maybe put a flier up in your building and at work. The more contact others will have with the event, the larger the turnout will be.

Logistics to consider when hosting a bar fundraiser

Because it’s not all about the planning and preparing, here are some tips to consider for the main event.

1. Entry fee & coat check

Having a suggested entry price for attendees is a great idea. Think about asking $10 as an entry fee but also be flexible with what people can offer. Having a “suggested price” will allow those who can contribute more to do so while also not limiting those on the other end of the spectrum. This is an effective and reasonable way to increase your funds.

While you’re at it, if the space allows, why not rope one of your mates into running the coat check for you? Put a little sign up saying “$2 a hanger.” If it’s in the middle of the winter, most folks will be happy to ditch their fur and wool at the door.

Furthermore, the more comfortable your crowd will be, the more likely they will be to stay and enjoy themselves. Keep your eyes on the prize here!

2. Music

hosting a fundraiser at a bar
Atmosphere will be a huge component of your fundraiser at a bar.

If you really want to get the party started, why not offer some sort of modern jukebox? There must be an app for this. Consider asking a minimal fee for those who want to play a specific jam. Otherwise, see if that wannabe DJ friend of yours would be interested in MC-ing the evening.

Having music will help create a sort of ambiance and the MC could be sure that the evening happens as planned. While you’re at it, think of some other activities that might be appropriate for your evening.

3. Apps and snacks

Will the bar offer some sort of finger food for your guests? Do you think it would be worth it to offer something to munch on? The idea isn’t to spend any money on the event but sometimes it’s worth it to invest a little to maximize your return.

Can you put Grandma on cookie duty and Dad on trail mix? See if your friends or family can help contribute a little something. The idea isn’t to take the money and run. Make the most out of this gathering.

4. And last but not least — enjoy!

Don’t forget to enjoy the event yourself. This should be a double whammy — raise the funds you need for your cause AND enjoy yourself with friends and family in the meantime.

Skip the fundraiser at a bar and fundraise with FMT!

Maybe you’re too cool for school or can’t fathom the time to round up the crew for an evening at the bar. You might even despise bars. Okay, that’s a valid opinion. Luckily, regardless of your stance and time constraints, FundMyTravel is always a viable fundraising option. A really simple one, at that!

Whether you decided to host a fundraiser at a bar or not, creating an online, crowd-sourced funding campaign is both an easy and effective way to raise the roof. In a few clicks you could have your campaign built and ready to roll.

Hosting a fundraiser at a bar is so crazy it just might work

hosting a fundraiser at a bar
You’ll have a great time, all in the name of a great cause!

Crazy and cozy! During these colder winter months, gathering your posse at a bar is the way to go. Get your act together and make this event a successful one! With a little planning, organization, and perseverance, you’ll soon be hurdling over this funding obstacle.

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Comments (2)

Wow, nice article. It worked a lot for me

That NEGOTIATE got me rolling in laughter! MUahhhhLOL

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